Ithaca, NY, may expand smoking ban

From WBNG 12 Action News

ITHACA, NY -- You may be able to dine outside in Downtown Ithaca during warmer months, but soon you might not be able to smoke outside.

"The city is considering the effects of second-hand smoke on the public, and so they're interested in providing a healthy safe place for people where they can come down to the commons and not have to have the second hand smoke," says Vicki Taylor with the Downtown Ithaca Alliance.

The city is looking to ban smoking in roughly half of Ithaca Commons and within 10 feet of outdoor dining areas.

This plan would result with an entire block of smoke free restaurants on Aurora Street, making customers leave the table and the street in order to light one up.

[Go here for the full story.]
State Smoking Laws
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Coffee, tea or wheee!

US Airways may not be the most service-oriented passenger transportation company around, but it is looking to one aspect of creature comforts.

The airline has just introduced a trio of new cocktails to its in-flight drinks menu.

They are a pomegranate martini, a margarita and a mai tai, priced at $8 each. They are made with real fruit juice, triple-filtered water and cane sugar.

The carrier also has added several non-alcoholic beverages, including Red Bull, Starbucks Frappuccinos and AriZona Arnold Palmer Lite Half & Halfs, an iced tea and lemonade concoction, priced at $3 each.
US Airways
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Widmer vineyards donated to RIT

ROCHESTER, NY -- In the midst of an unprcedented growth in the number of wineries in New York State, one of the oldest is being closed.

Widmer Winery, located in Naples about 40 miles southeast of here, will be closed by 2011 and the building and vineyards donated to Rochester Institute of Technology. RIT offers academic programs in wine, sustainability and culinary arts.

Widmer is owned by Constellation Brands Inc., headquartered here in Rochester. It is the world's largest wine company.

Constellation CEO Rob Sands said the company plans to move production of its Taylor, Paul Masson and Manischewitz wines from Widmer to its Canandaigua Winery, located about 20 miles away. It said it probably will move the 55 jobs at Widmer to Canandaigua.

RIT is getting a piece of history as well as 860 acres of land on which there are 220 vine acres with 640 vines to the acre.

The foundations of Widmer's Wine Cellars began more than a century ago when Swiss winemaker John Jacob Widmer and his wife, Lisette, moved to the Finger Lakes. He planted his first vines in 1883 and his wine business started in 1888 when he began filling kegs and barrels on request, mostly for Swiss immigrants in Rochester and in Paterson, NJ.
Rochester Institute of Technology
Widmer Wine Cellars
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Monster whisky bottle one for the book

TOMINTOUL, Scotland -- If you're limited to just one bottle of Scotch, the distillers here in the highest village in the Highlands have come up with just the thing for you.

They've made it into the Guinness Book of World Records by producing the world’s largest whisky bottle for their Tomintoul Speyside Glenlivet Single Malt. It holds the equivalent of 150 regular bottles.

It recently was filled by hand at the distillery in August with 105.3 litres of the 14-year-old whisky, and stands just under five feet tall. The bottle now is on permanent display at the Clockhouse in the Tomintoul village square.

Tomintoul is located in the northeast of Scotland in Ballindalloch, Banffshire.
Tomintoul Distillery
Undiscovered Scotland
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Avoiding stress? Skip these cities

If you're looking to travel to low-stress cities, you may want to consider skipping Chicago.

For the second consecutive year, the Windy City ranks No. 1 in the Forbes.com compilation of America's most stressful cities.

Following in close order:

2. Los Angeles
3. New York
4. Cleveland
5. Providence, RI
6. San Francisco
7. Detroit
8. Boston
9. Washington, DC
10. San Jose, CA

(You can get a slide-show capsule report of the 40 cities studied by going here.)

The study examined the country's 40 largest metropolitan statistical areas, or metros -- geographic entities defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget for use by federal agencies in collecting, tabulating and publishing federal statistics.

Forbes says it looked at June 2009 unemployment figures provided by the federal Bureau of Labor and Statistics and cost of living figures from the Council for Community and Economic Research. It examined median home-price drops from the first quarter of 2008 to the first quarter of this year as provided by the National Association of Realtors. Population density based on 2008 data from the U.S. Census Bureau and ESRI also factored.

Crowding, poor air quality, a high 11% unemployment rate and free-falling home values went into ascertaining the Chicago stress level.
The full Forbes.com report
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'Water, water everywhere ...

... and not a drop to drink."

That line from "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" by the English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772–1834) came to mind on Sunday afternoon when I stopped to gaze at the Cohoes Falls in the little Albany County, NY, city of Cohoes and found someone with a much better view.

A lone bicyclist left his wheels close to shore (see background when you double-click on the image to enlarge it) and somehow managed to make his way to the edge of the falls where he sat down and looked around. He also outwaited me. I presume he got back safely.

Mohawk Towpath Scenic Byway
City of Cohoes, NY
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